Fire Safety Report

Plymouth State University

2011 Annual Fire Safety Report

 

 

2011 Fire Log

Date

Location Nature of Incident Cause  Property Damage

Deaths

Injuries

1/10/11

Mary Lyon Hall burnt food unintentional  $       -

0

0

3/14/11

White Mtn. Apartments overheated food unintentional  $  8.79

0

0

3/18/11

Smith Hall light ballast failure unintentional  $      -

0

0

4/10/11

White Mtn. Apartments burnt food unintentional  $       -

0

0

4/14/11

Mary Lyon Hall outdoor trash fire intentional  $       -

0

0

5/6/11

White Mtn. Apartments outside fire intentional  $       -

0

0

9/19/11

White Mtn. Apartments stove fire unintentional  $499.00

0

0

10/6/11

Pemigewassett Hall fire in trash compacter intentional  $       -

0

0

 

 

 

Fire Drills In Student Housing

 

Each year, including 2011, at least one full evacuation fire drill is conducted in every residence hall and in all student apartments.  Fire drills in PSU Residential facilities are always supervised by the Plymouth Fire Department and the Campus Safety Manager, with assistance from University Police and the Residential Life staff.

 

Each drill concludes with a brief after action session where fire department personnel and the Campus Safety Manager meet with residential life staff, including student staff members.  During those meetings the drill and any issues that may need attention are discussed.  RD’s usually follow up that meeting with communications to the residents.

 

Life safety inspections and inspections of fire and life safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and emergency lights are conducted throughout the year by Residential Life staff, Plymouth Fire Department and Physical Plant staff.

The Plymouth Fire Department conducts at least one life safety inspection every year in each residence hall.  Separate from the Fire Department inspections, Residential Life staff conduct their own life safety inspections several times a semester.  These inspections are usually conducted about a month into the semester, and then near holiday and vacation breaks.

 

 

Fire Protection Features in PSU Residential Facilities

 

 

Residence

Supervised Automatic Sprinklers

Supervised Fire Alarm System

Hard-Wired Smoke Detectors

Supervised Carbon Monoxide Detection System

Non-Trad Apartments

ü

ü

ü

ü

White Mountain Apartments

ü

ü

ü

ü

1 High Street (Eco House)

ü

ü

ü

ü

Belknap Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Blair Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Grafton Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Langdon Woods

ü

ü

ü

ü

Mary Lyon Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Pemi Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Samuel Read Hall Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

Smith Hall

ü

ü

ü

ü

 

Fire Safety Policies

Plymouth State University is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment and to comply with Federal, State and Local Statutes and ordinances and USNH Policy.

Residential Life does not allow the use of candles, incense, fireworks and halogen lamps in campus housing.  Additional policies also limit the use of cooking appliances and electrical equipment, including extension cords.

 

The PSU Student Handbook has multiple sections that address many fire and life safety related issues.   The Student Handbook, including specific policies and expectations can be found at   http://www.plymouth.edu/office/student-life/psu-student-handbook/handbook/ .

 

 

For example, the PSU Student Handbook specifically states:

 

  • In all Residence Hall Rooms and Apartments:
    • All electrical appliances must be UL listed.
    • Only UL listed Power Strips may be used to extend appliance cords to electrical outlets. Extension cords may not be used.
    • Electric blankets and halogen lamps are not allowed.
    • In Residence Hall Rooms:
      • Compact refrigerators no larger than 5 cubic feet are allowed.
      • Microwave ovens no larger than .6 cubic feet are allowed.
      • Open coiled appliances, including but not limited to, hot plates, toasters, heating/immersion coils, electric fry pans, toaster ovens, are not allowed.

 

In addition to the PSU Student Handbook, specific regulations and policies on fire and life safety issues are documented in PSU Residential Life lease agreements and community standard documents.  The Community Standard documents also specify the sanctions that can be imposed for violations of these policies. Students are sent links to the community standard documents upon confirmation of room registration.  All of these documents are available on-line at http://www.plymouth.edu/office/residential-life/reslife-docs/ .

 

Apartment residents are provided with a copy of a state fire marshal bulletin that prohibits the use of grills within 10 feet of any apartment building or overhang.

 

Smoking is not allowed in PSU Residential Halls.  As of the fall of 2010, smoking is longer allowed in student apartments either.  Across campus, smoking is only allowed outdoors at least 20 feet from any campus building.

 

 

Evacuation of Student Housing

 

All residence hall rooms have both an emergency evacuation route map with evacuation instructions and a poster with emergency procedures, including how to respond during fires and other emergencies.

 

Typical Residential Room Posting

           These postings are updated periodically and are replaced as needed when requested or when noted during summer residence hall maintenance walk-thrus. The contents of these postings are reviewed at least annually and are updated when needed.  Newer postings have been made room specific with a “you are here” notation.

 

Incoming freshmen and transfer students may receive general fire and safety information during the orientation process.  Residential Life Staff and the University Police provide this information that includes the different emergency alert systems on the campus.

 

Student residents are given building specific evacuation instructions during mandatory floor and apartment meetings held the night of check-in.  These instructions include the location of all designated outside meeting points and a familiarization with the building layout and emergency evacuation routes.

 

 

Fire Safety Education and Training

 

Each department on campus can ask for the Campus Safety Manager or the University Police to provide training on emergency response.

 

University Police, the Office of Public Relations and the Campus Safety Manager often  provide annual training sessions for faculty on emergency response procedures.  This training is held during faculty week, just before classes resume in the fall.

 

Emergency procedure posters are located throughout the campus.  These posters provide all students, faculty, staff and visitors with instructions to follow during an emergency. In addition to the posters, emergency information, including evacuation procedures, are posted on the PSU website (with a link on every page of the site).  Posters are updated as needed.

 

 

Reporting Fires

 

Students, faculty and staff are always urged to report any fire, no matter how small, to the fire department by dialing 911 from any campus or cell phone.  This requirement is documented in the PSU Student Handbook as well.

 

Residential Life staff must also report any evidence of a fire, even extinguished, to their Director.

 

All other faculty and staff are urged to report any evidence of a fire to the University Police, the Physical Plant, and/or to the Manager of Campus Safety.   Emergency reporting procedures are clearly noted in the postings and on the website.

 

 

Fire Safety Updates

 

See “Future Improvements” (below) regarding fire alarm radio boxes and carbon monoxide detection.

 

 

Future Improvements

 

The Manager of Campus Safety and the Manager of Maintenance Operations meets monthly with the Plymouth Fire Chief to review all planned renovations across the campus, including all residential buildings.  Plans are reviewed to ensure compliance with all fire and life safety codes.

 

In 2011 Plymouth State University was notified by the Plymouth Fire Department that the antiquated municipal loop would be discontinued sometime in the summer of 2012.  This municipal loop is the hard-wired communication system between each fire alarm system and the Fire Department.  In late 2011 the University contracted with Mammoth Fire Alarms, Inc. to install a radio box on each fire alarm system.  When installation is complete (by the summer of 2012) these radio boxes will communicate directly (and wirelessly) to Lakes Region Mutual Aid.  Upon any fire alarm activation, Lakes Region Mutual Aid will dispatch the Plymouth Fire Department.

 

In early 2012 the University is installing carbon monoxide detection systems.  These systems are being installed in each residential area that has a combustion source with the potential to produce carbon monoxide.  Those sources are gas fired clothes dryers.  These carbon monoxide detection systems will be tied into each building’s fire alarm system.

 

 

Campus Emergency Communications

 

The Plymouth State University Crisis Communications Plan states “In the event of an emergency or crisis situation, the Office of Public Relations will work in cooperation with primary responders – University Police, Vice President for Student Affairs, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Plymouth Fire Department, Plymouth Police Department and/or PSU Facilities, Residential Life and Office of Environmental Health & Safety – to coordinate and disseminate information regarding an emergency or crisis situation.”

 

The Plan further states the overall goal to “alert the campus and surrounding community about the crisis and communicate instructions that will aid in securing the personal safety of those on or near campus.”  The plan will further “disseminate all public information relative to the crisis to internal and external publics.”

 

 

Plymouth State University utilizes many communication tools to inform the campus community during an emergency.  It is important to note, however, that not every tool listed here would be utilized in every situation.

 

  • PSU Alerts Text Messaging System
  • Plymouth.edu website
  • PSU Alert Line
  • E-Mail
  • Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
  • myPlymouth
  • Emergency Alert Siren
  • Local TV and Radio Stations

Information about each method is available on-line and in emergency postings placed around campus, including how to sign up and/or access each method.

Each has limitations and risks and is not appropriate for every emergency situation.  A Crisis Communications Team is responsible for testing, reviewing and updating these tools.   The Crisis Communication Team consists of representatives from University Police, IT, Office of Public Relations and Campus Environmental Health & Safety.

All of the above communication tools (with the exception of local media) are tested twice per year, on the third Monday in September and February at noon.  In addition, the siren is “silently” tested at least once per week to insure that the communications infrastructure remains intact and operable at all times.